Ted Dekker’s Favorite Modern-Day Parables: ‘Life of Pi,’ ‘The Shack’ and More

Ted Dekker’s Favorite Modern-Day Parables: ‘Life of Pi,’ ‘The Shack’ and More


I love Lynn Bauman’s definition of parables as “spiritual hand grenades” that have the ability to obliterate our preconceived notions of life. They move us because, as stories, they bypass our reason and go straight for the heart.

Although parables are traditionally defined as short illustrations, I view many novels as modern-day parables because there is often a twist, a moment of clarity, that makes me stop and reconsider–even if for only a moment–what I thought I believed. They’re the kinds of stories that leave us saying, “I never thought of it that way before.”

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    1. Life of Pi (Movie Tie-In)

    We see the world not as it is, but as we are. For that reason, stories are what you make of them. Pi’s journey is one of my favorites for that very reason. What is it that you want to see? It all depends on what you’re willing to accept.

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    2. The Shawshank Redemption

    King’s a master at drawing an honest picture of humanity. There’s both darkness and light in all of us. There’s a part of us that can never die if we don’t let it, and freedom isn’t something that comes from somewhere else. It’s in us.

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    3. The Shack

    Sometimes you have to look at something from a different angle in order to really see it—like God as an African-American woman, or pain as a teetering shack that traps us in the past.

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    4. Iscariot

    I had the opportunity to read an early copy of “Iscariot,” a novel written by my friend and co-author Tosca Lee. While not a parable in the strictest sense, it’s certainly a spiritual hand grenade that will challenge every notion you may have about forgiveness and judging not lest we be judged ourselves.





    Ted Dekker is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels with a total of more than 3 million books in print. His most recent book is “Outlaw.”


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